Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Spring Heeled Jack and The Austere Academy

Book Reviews:
Spring-Heeled Jack
Phillip Pullman, 112 pages.

When the Summers siblings escape a treacherous orphanage (think Annie and Newsies), they try to head straight for the boat to America. But the most villainous of villains, Mack the Knife, gets in the way. They're going to need some help from Spring-Heeled Jack -- the original superhero!

Much shorter and lighter than the other Pullman books I've read, this one also appears to be, like, the first ever graphic novel. At least in my limited experience. The book is copyright 1989 and it's not a graphic novel strictly speaking, because plain text goes along with the comic-book style frames. Pullman inserts lots of fun humor that both kids and adults will enjoy.

It took me about an hour to finish this little guy, and I'd recommend it if you like superheroes or want to learn about the history of them.

The Austere Academy: A Series of Unfortunate Events #5
Lemony Snicket, 221 pages.

The Baudelaire Orphans, continued. Or so you think, until they meet the Quagmire triplets (of which there are only two left). Yes, believe it or not, the orphans actually run into a little bit of luck and make some friends. The rest of the characters are as nefarious as ever: Olaf plotting and scheming, others being terrible and ridiculous, and Mr. Poe coughing and bumbling.

Snicket is fun to read. His little humor bites are the only thing that makes reading the story bearable. He's like the Fred and George of the series. But there is a tragic note even to his humor. The plot is developing more though, and becoming less formulaic, which is why I think I'll keep reading them.
Does anyone have any good book recommendations for me?

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